Whether you’re a first time mom, or you’ve been down the road previously, you should create a birth plan before the delivery of your baby. No matter where you decide to give birth, in a hospital or at-home, creating a birth plan helps to guide anyone assisting you. Download this FREE printable birth plan worksheet to get started and check out some of the tips below to assist you in the process.
5 Tips To Create A Labor & Deliver Plan
When you arrive at the hospital and check in, or you’re discussing a plan with your midwife, you should keep an open mind. Having a birth plan is more of a guidance about your environment than strict rules. Your top priority should always be to keep the baby safe and healthy.
So many moms make the mistake of making a birth plan that’s very detailed and then tossing it right out the window when something comes up. That only leaves you feeling defeated.
Instead, you want to make a plan that’s flexible and has room for adjustments. While I’ve always got a few die-hard requests (like no viewing mirror in my room), I’ve always been open to doctor and nurse suggestions because they’ve got the experiences needed to bring a healthy baby into this world.
Keep Your Birth Plan Short, Sweet & To The Point
Nurses won’t have time to read a birth plan that’s several pages long. You want to be precise and get your point across without being too pushy. Let them know you’re flexible, but that you’ve got some requests for your delivery. Being polite will take a you a lot further than coming across as bossy too.
Do Your Research
Consider reading a book on delivery or watching some online educational birth videos. You want to know about all of your options and be open to new ideas as well. For moms who have delivered previously, this can be hard.
First off, we don’t have the time needed to do research and techniques are constantly changing with medical advancements. Secondly, we get stuck in our own ways. Instead of being stubborn, research new ideas that you might be open to trying. No two births are exactly alike.
Know Your Pain Management Options
I think the biggest part of women’s plans that change the most often would be their pain management requests. If you’re planning to go without pain medication, explain how you’ve been preparing and why you’re making the request to withhold from the help.
If you’ve had reactions or a poor experience from a past delivery, you’ll want to explain that as well. Research birthing positions and props prior to giving birth too. Know that anesthesia can oftentimes prevent you from trying certain birth positions because you have feeling in your legs. I know using the peanut ball for delivery has become quite popular – you can even bring some of your own props (like a peanut ball from Amazon).
Discuss Who Your Support System Will Be
Don’t be afraid to discuss with your care team, who you’d like to be in the room with you. I know some women even have a secret word or phrase they’ll use, that only their spouse or nurses know about, for when they need someone to leave the room.
I’ve always been a “husband only” type of mom, but I know that it’s tradition for some women for have extended family members in the delivery room as well. Let your nurses know who they are and your relation to them. Also be open to the idea of kicking them out as well – you never know what emotions will arise from the experience.
Be Prepared To Throw It Out The Window
It’s always a great idea to use a printable birth plan worksheet, but be prepared to toss it out the window when an emergency situation comes up. Your ultimate goal should be a healthy mom and baby. If your doctor or midwife suggests a new plan, be open to the idea of tossing your birth plan.
My first born was “sunny side up” in the occiput posterior position, which really threw my birth plan for a loop. I had to access the situation as it was unfolding and prepare for change. You may not want a cesarean, but planning for the off chance that it happens, will make you feel more prepared.
Grab Your FREE Printable Birth Plan Worksheet
Get started on your planning by printing out this guide. It’ll help you think about what you want, research and make it readable for your care team. Just download the link below, save it to your computer and print.
Of course, I ALWAYS appreciate when moms share my articles and resources with each other – sharing is caring!